Engine seems not to change gears, no power, flooring accelearator

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by analoggirl, Apr 26, 2018.

  1. analoggirl

    analoggirl Junior Member

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    My 2011 has had all it's maintenance and some random suggestions by dealers. Last few weeks it feels like the 'transmission' is going. Though I have read Prius does not have a typical transmission.
    I need to FLOOR the accelerator to move. Going up hill I feel as if it may roll backward.

    We are headed on a long roadtrip and I am nervous to take the vehicle. I am headed to the dealership for an early oil change and to see about this issue. We have since moved and I do NOT trust the only dealership in town. (Asheville - Fred Anderson).

    I am hoping to gain some info here to be prepared for our scheduled appointment today.

    What's the possibilities? I don't know the all the correct terms/names for a Prius engine. So go easy on me.

    Thank you soooo much for helping!
     
  2. mjoo

    mjoo Senior Member

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    LOL @ changing gears! What mileage are you at? We'll probably recommend some maintenance.

    Do you see any warning lights on the dash?

    Do you hear the battery fan come on in the trunk?

    Pixel XL ?
     
  3. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    you likely have a serious issue, i would rent a car for the road trip. don't risk your safety.
     
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  4. The Electric Me

    The Electric Me Go Speed Go!

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    I second the contention that it sounds like your vehicle is in no shape to take on a "long road trip".

    How long have you owned it?
    The Prius has what Toyota calls an e-CVT transmission. So you really should never be feeling the classic "changing of gears". That doesn't mean you don't have a problem here, just that even with a perfectly working Prius you aren't going to feel the changing of the gears you would in a classic transmission vehicle.

    The lack of power and flooring of the accelerator? -That could be a problem.

    Which is again why I'm asking how long you have owned it.
    With little real information to go on besides the symptoms of lack of power and having to floor the accelerator, with a the mechanical and technological marvel that is a Prius? It could be so many things.

    If the symptoms are severe, I'm surprised it's not throwing a code.

    But unfortunately, I think your best bet is just to make that service appointment, and tell them the symptoms you perceive.
     
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  5. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I agree with the others; you do NOT want to take that car on a trip in that condition.

    There are lots of possibilities, but without more information, there's no way to know. As @The Electric Me said, it's surprising it's not throwing codes.
     
  6. mjoo

    mjoo Senior Member

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    I was giving the OP the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she just bought the car and getting used to the lower power in the Prius. Maybe OP came from a boat such as a Mustang or Blazer. Can't tell until we have more info.

    BTW the electric part of the Prius that gives you "instant torque" is weak on the Prius. So you need electric and gas motors working normal for Prius power.

    Something simple like having pets in the car or blocking the air intake of the battery with too many shoes and purses can eventually degrade performance...

    Edit: nevermind she's been with PC since 2011 but still not enough info.

    Pixel XL ?
     
    #6 mjoo, Apr 26, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  7. 04priusnow

    04priusnow Active Member

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    that's what my 04 did with a bad traction battery.. top speed was 65mph and if you pushed the throttle to hard it wouldn't go anywhere...

    PH-1 ?
     
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  8. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    Sounds like "limp mode" to me...
     
  9. Erik Owens

    Erik Owens Member

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    Alright your vehicle does not have gears. It has a split power device or commonly known as a type of Constant Velocity Transmission which power is split between the engine and the electric motors. Fuel miser is correct that if you need to floor it then you are in limp mode and there should be indicators that go along with that such as the Red Triangle, Check engine light, ABS Trac VSC lights or all above. Limp mode is to stop you from tearing up your vehicle emissions wise and possibly physically. The ECM sees an issue and only allows maybe 25-35 mph tops and reduced throttle response so you dont inadvertently kill your car or worse, hurt yourself and others.
    These vehicles are also plagued with the inverter issue where it overheats, but again that should come with codes or no start or lack of power. The inverter issues is covered with no mileage restrictions right now but parts may be back ordered since this is still pretty new and alot of Prius and Prius V are experiencing this. But since you gave no more info than just symptoms you could also have a lot of issues but that is the most common one. Lack of power could be fuel related, motors could be shorted in the windings. Also throttle body obstruction/ dirty. So a lot of examples and that is barely the tip of the ice berg.
    The car is unsafe to drive for sure if the vehicle cannot get out of its own way vice you cant safely operate the vehicle. Tow that sucker and that is the best advice I can give for now until you get back to us with more detail.
     
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  10. analoggirl

    analoggirl Junior Member

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    Thanks for the replies! I bought the car new in 2011 and have had all required and suggested maintainence.
    Dealership took 2 hours for simple tire rotation and multi point inspection Thursday so I had to leave before they had time to diagnose anything. . I’m going back Monday. They are suggesting I put in new engine fluid and clean out some gasket. No codes. I just don’t trust them. I’ll go back Monday for recommended services but they aren’t saying that will fix anything for sure.

    My horn stopped working a few months ago and they wanted 60$ just to tell me what it might be. Not including any cost it would be. So I don’t have a working horn because I thought that was nuts. These are suppose to be Prius experts!?
     
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  11. analoggirl

    analoggirl Junior Member

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    The car drives. I can go on flat freeways. The jerky vlack of power is intermittent on flat roads and much more obvious uphill. There were days when I turned off the car and turned it back on after sitting idle for a while that it got better.
    I know there is no transmission, but it’s the best way I can explain what it feels like with power and acceleration issues
    What else would be helpful to know?
     
  12. analoggirl

    analoggirl Junior Member

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    The car drives. I can go on flat freeways. The jerky vlack of power is intermittent on flat roads and much more obvious uphill. There were days when I turned off the car and turned it back on after sitting idle for a while that it got better.
    I know there is no transmission, but it’s the best way I can explain what it feels like with power and acceleration issues
    What else would be helpful to know?
     
  13. analoggirl

    analoggirl Junior Member

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    What’s limp mode?
    what is ph-1.
     
  14. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 'Orrible Oracle

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    How many miles on it?
     
  15. analoggirl

    analoggirl Junior Member

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    105800. Give or take
     
  16. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    maybe they meant clean the egr. 'exhaust gas recirculation' valve.

    it's unusual for a prius to behave badly without trouble codes, and will make the search for a culprit more difficult, time consuming and costly.

    is there another dealer in the area?
     
  17. Erik Owens

    Erik Owens Member

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    More likely if its jerky then probably spark plugs being fouled and not able to properly spark or worse case shorted windings in transmission but you would get some kind of warning lights of some kind. And limp mode was explained in my lengthy thread a few posts up.
     
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